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Fire-breathing buses threaten London

Screaming commuters flee Godzilla-style carnage

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Updated We're beginning to suspect that London mayor "Red Ken" Livingstone may be nothing more than an agent for the killer cyberloos and murderous domestic appliances which threaten the very existence of humanity.

What other explanation is there for three recent incidents in which London bendy buses spontaneously combusted, forcing screaming commuters to flee for their lives?

Of course, some Londoners may assert that this is the normal method of egress from all forms of public transport in the capital. A fair point - anyone who has ever travelled more than three stops on the Northern Line will more than likely have run hysterical from the station in search of the nearest pub.

But make no mistake, this is something far, far more sinister.

In the last few weeks, three Citaro bendy buses - articulated single-deckers championed by Livingstone and built by Mercedes subsidiary Evo Bus - have caught fire without apparent reason. The first two incidents were at Edgware Road and Camberwell. The third targeted exclusive Park Lane on Saturday. Mercifully, there have been no casualties, so far.

Transport for London has, as the authority charged with quelling this omnibuscular uprising, said it will fit fire-suppression equipment on the buses and that they will be checked before leaving the depot.

This is woefully inadequate - the authorities in Canneto di Caronia, Sicily, cut off the mains electricity supply to the village when domestic appliances began to catch fire. Despite this, the carnage continued until the residents legged it en masse.

We suggest, nay demand, an immediate return to the beloved, benevolent and - most importantly - low-tech Routemaster double-decker on all London routes before the city's population is reduced to clambering to work over the smouldering remains of its transport infrastructure. ®

Update

Terrifyingly, it may already be too late to stop London's public transport from razing the capital to the ground, as this recent BBC update to the bendy bus combustion story notes: "At about 0645 GMT on Wednesday a number 19 Routemaster bus caught fire on St John's Road in Angel, north London. No-one was injured."

Be afraid...

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